President-elect Joe Biden sent a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in response to the latter’s congratulatory letter that was sent from Constantinople in November.
Biden expressed his warm thanks for the congratulatory letter that Bartholomew sent shortly after his electoral victory in November. In that letter, handwritten by Bartholomew, he said that Biden’s win brought “hope for a better future.”
He also said he experienced “joy and enthusiasm” following his win against Donald Trump.
Biden and Bartholomew share a long, cordial relationship and have met on numerous occasions.
As Vice President, Biden visited Istanbul, Turkey in 2011 and spent a considerable amount of time at the Phanar with Bartholomew. He was accompanied on that trip by then-archbishop Demetrios of America, who together with the Synod of Bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, gave Biden a tour of the compound and shared its rich history as the center of world Orthodoxy.
The relationship between the two leaders should bode well for numerous concerns of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including matters of religious freedom in Turkey, where the Patriarchate is located.
In addition to their already close relationship, the Greek Orthodox Church in America’s Vicar General, Fr. Alexander Karloutsos maintains a close, personal relationship with the Biden family.
In a handwritten postscript, the Biden wrote to the Ecumenical Patriarch: “Stay well. We need your leadership.”
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